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Since I started covering the financial crisis a year and a half ago, I’ve been getting a lot of letters that say things like, “This all sucks. But what should we do about it? If you don’t have any answers, what’s the point?”

I don’t want to get into this too much since I have more on this coming out in my book, but I would like to point out some of the answers other people are providing to this question. One is this above plan from the hilariously blunt Max Keiser, whose “Goldman Sachs are scum” interview was one of the comedy highlights of 2009.

Keiser in an interview basically says that the debts countries like Greece owe to banks like Goldman, Sachs for loans and rate swaps are illegitimate since they were criminal deals, made with the intent to cook Greece’s books and defraud the citizens of Greece out of their tax money. He therefore proposes that Greece should simply stiff Goldman for those obligations and that, furthermore, American banks should be expelled from the country while the government temporarily nationalizes its banking system and establishes its independence from the financial services industry.

 

 I’m not sure I know enough about what the consequences of a plan like that would be to say whether this is feasible or not. But I think Keiser’s idea does underline an important point about the situation, which is that as powerful as these Wall Street banks may seem, they are also exquisitely vulnerable. Right now virtually all of them are dependent upon the government keeping accounting standards lax enough for all of them to claim to be functional businesses. It is generally accepted that if the major banks on Wall Street were forced to mark all of their assets to market tomorrow, they would all be either insolvent or close to it.

Thus their “healthy” financial status is already illusory. So imagine what would happen if large numbers of those dubious loans on their balance sheets that they have marked down as “performing” were suddenly pushed ahead of time into the default column. What if Greece, and the Pennsylvania school system, and Jefferson County, Alabama, and the countless other municipalities and states that are wrapped up in these corrupt deals just decided to declare their debts illegitimate and back out?

I think it’s an interesting question and would like to hear what knowledgeable people in the field have to say about it. But the big picture, to me, is that these companies are almost totally dependent not only upon the continued good faith of aggrieved debtors, but upon the government recognizing the (sometimes fraudulent) loans made to those debtors as fully performing. I’m waiting for some canny politician to use those two facts as a hammer to make them all get in line. Thoughts?

 Matt Taibi Blog, April 06 2010

 

 

The IMF Flag reads: ECONOMIC SLAVERY

 

“The IMF will not have a restricted role” in the recently decided support plan for Greece, because “it wants to insure the control of valuable Greek infrastructures”, alleges economic analyst Max Keiser on international television networks such as the BBC, Al Jazeera and Russia Today.

Often also called an activist, Mr. Keiser created quite a stir a few days ago when, on an Al Jazeera program, he claimed that Greece, for the past decade, has fallen victim to the “economic terrorists” of the Wall Street banking systems and the IMF. In the interview which followed, he claimed “if the Greeks want to be protected from the IMF, then they should nationalize their banks thus establishing government owned institutions so as to revive the banking system”, while at the same time “ceasing to pay back the loans which were issued illegally” via “cooking the books” of the Greek economy by Goldman Sachs. He proposed the expulsion from the country of American banks as well as the IMF. The consequence will be “two or three years of heavy recession”, during which time Greece will be able “to rebuild its economy”, ensuring its economic independence.

Mr. Keiser, what is your opinion concerning the EU decision to support Greece while also including the IMF?

“It is problematic solution, because the IMF isn’t a desirable institution of control for your finances as it will bring with it budget austerity measures which serve the interests of the Wall Street and not the Greek population. Greece has fallen victim to the Wall Street bankers since 2000. The first thing that needs to done is an assessment of the relationships between the Wall Street banks, Greek banks and the Greek government. If the Greeks want to be protected from the IMF, they should immediately nationalize all the banks thereby reviving the banking system and exempting themselves from the unfair austerity measures which are being imposed on them . The people are not the cause of the problem. Why is the Greek population being forced to pay for the actions of corrupt bankers and politicians? This is absurd”.

Is your proposal realistic? Can a country do such a thing within the bounds of the E.U. and the eurozone?

“The Greeks have a good excuse to do so…. Since 2000 all the loans are fraudulent having been issued illegally with the help of Goldman Sachs. Because they were victimized by unscrupulous Wall Street bankers, the Greek government can now cease repaying these fraudulent loans while in the meantime, nationalizing their banking system. A crime has been committed that should be compensated for by Goldman Sachs and the other Wall Street banks.”

France believes the existing economic rules of the Eurozone should be withdrawn and replaced by new rules based on current conditions. Do you agree?

“A stranger is applying their policy in the Eurozone. The question is, why is Germany and Trichet of the ECB allowing the IMF to come in and start controlling eurozone matters? This is a tyranny because they are allowing a foreign entity to come in and dictate Eurozone policies.

Germany has proven that it doesn’t care at all about Greece and that it is more interested in what’s going on in London. Meanwhile, Germany uses Greece to do its dirty work because it actually wants the IMF to redefine eurozone banking regulations.

It (Germany) wants a shock factor as it is really seeking exchange equivalence with Britain. Greece now finding itself caught in the middle of this game and should say “That’s it! No more!” , the debts were created fraudulently and we demand compensation from Wall Street! We want our money back, we want it now and there is no more room for discussion concerning the matter.”

It is said of course, the presence of the IMF in Europe will be limited.

“That’s what is said, however, looking at the history of the IMF, there is not a single example of its having a limited involvement in any country in which it was called into operation. It (IMF) went in and imposed austerity measures which benefited the Wall Street banks. It will enslave you economically.

Show me one country in which the IMF had a limited presence and operated responsibly. Whoever believes the IMF will have a limited role, such as the propaganda the Mass Media reports, should be ashamed as the history of the IMF is not being referred to. It’s role will be limited only if Greece adheres to the austerity measures. Meanwhile, it will be impossible for the Greeks to follow the measures and once that happens, from that point on… the IMF will have a major role. It is somehow believed the IMF will say to the people “Conform to the measures and you will exit the crisis.” One would be crazy to believe it would happen like that though. The IMF wants to ensure control of the valuable Greek ports and then to sell them.

The Greek people will lose control of the infrastructure of the country, the ports and the industry tied with it. All of this will be lost and it (IMF) will then take the gained assets which it created and lease them out. This is called slavery. Therefore, if the Greeks don’t revolt, they will loose there economic independence. The Greek government is not doing enough to stop the hawks.

Decide how you want to live.

What consequences will there be if Greece throws out the elements that you have mentioned?

There will be consequences, but the questions is do you want to live as human beings or as slaves? If you want to live freely, you will have to fight for your freedom and there will be consequences. Or… you can surrender your children and your grandchildren to the IMF as slaves. Those are the choices. You either take bitter medicine now or you prostitute your children to the IMF.

If Greece decides to rid itself of the IMF and Goldman Sachs now, the consequence will be that for two or three years there will be a severe recession. However, this time will allow for the rebuilding of the Greek economy. Why doesn’t the Greek government block Goldman Sachs from its country as they have admitted to cooking the books of the economy? In other words, Greece can state it wants each and every Goldman Sachs representative expelled or to stay and face the law for economic fraud.

 

MaxKeiser.Com, April 5th, 2010 by Nikos Katzilaki

 





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